More Tips for Email Deliverability

You might remember in a previous article we wrote about how, because of a little trick that Spammers use, Email clients are now preventing images from being displayed unless the reader says it OK.

It seems that Email Marketing is growing so fast that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are struggling, making their customers get the support they need, that they're resorting to tough measures in the fight against SPAM. In some instances, they're holding onto emails for several hours before delivering them. Many are even returning the messages to their senders as a bounced message.

In fact, companies that continue to use regular email to send images as their only means of getting their message across are just wasting their time and money. This is because, increasingly, these messages are just getting blocked.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to maximise the likelihood that your email gets delivered.

Perform a review of your email System

Are you following best practices with each email campaign?

With the constant abuse of email by Spammers, and the ongoing attempts to limit the proliferation of unsolicited email, you want to be sure that the structure of your emails, as well as the methods you use to send them out, are aligned with what the community decides are acceptable practices.

For example, if you're still sending out emails using something like Outlook (according to a 2002 ClickZ survey Outlook and Outlook Express accounted for more than 50% of email clients used for both business and personal use) then the first thing you should do is switch to an Email Service Provider (ESP). For around $10 per month, you're buying access to the commercial arrangements that these ESPs have which ensure the highest possible delivery of email to your customers.

When we write about "Systems", we are thinking about more than just the technology and how its used. Systems also involve the steps and processes that need to be implemented to make sure you're able to do something over and over again to achieve the same high outcome.

Regularly Monitor your Emails

If your mailing list has large numbers of people from a particular Internet Service Providers (ISP), register with that ISP and use your account to monitor the emails you send out. If you find you're not receiving your own emails, it might be because the ISP regards your message as SPAM.

Many Email Service Providers already provide Inbox monitoring and can tell you how well your messages are being delivered to the big ISPs like Gmail, MSN and Yahoo!.

Rethink your timing and your message

One of the reasons ISPs hold onto emails, delaying delivery, for several hours is because e-marketers are sending their emails at around the same time. For example, one of the most popular times to send out email is 10:00am on Tuesdays. When everyone does this, it creates a computer systems problem for the ISP. It also means that your message is part of the flood of messages people receive, so depending upon how much time they have for reading emails on that day, you may find that it's simply being trashed.

So, one way to avoid having your messages delayed, is to get in before the email rush and send your messages earlier if you really must send on a Tuesday. Even if its only a few minutes. You might even take the opportunity to refine your messages and create a sense of urgency about them. Alternatively, choose another day to send your messages.

Deliverability continues to be an attention draw-card for many businesses using email as part of their marketing mix.

It takes very little effort to turn around poor or below average email marketing deliverability rates quickly. For those keeping tabs on how the Internet is evolving, solutions are simple, logical and commonsense.

Email Marketing Services

If you're still using Outlook, LotusNotes, Mail, Thunderbird etc. for sending out your email newsletters and email marketing messages then for the sake of improved delivery and getting real notifications on whether people are opening your messages or not, switch to an Email Marketing Service account.

These accounts make sure that you do everything legally, so you'll never be able to do what the Government considers spamming. You will also get automatic subscribe and unsubscribe which saves you the hassle of keeping special lists manually. The best thing you get is reports that show you just how well your emails are doing.

Some Recommended Email Marketing Services

MailChimp iContact aWeber Vertical Response
Auto Subscribe/Unsubscribe Y Y Y Y
Customer Database Y Y Y Y
Sign-up Form For Your Website Y Y Y Y
Email Design Templates Y Y Y Y
Send Email Newsletters Y Y Y Y
Send Autoresponder Series Y Y Y N
Customer Segmenting Y Y Y Y
Message Tracking & Reporting Y Y Y Y
Image Hosting Y Y N Y

MailChimp is a relatively new service and promises to give you lots of innovative features with mobile phones in the future.

iContact has been around for a long time and they've put lots of thought into making their service as easy as possible to use.

aWeber is the favourite amongst Internet Marketers with it's ability to manage many hundreds of lists/customer databases within one account.

Vertical Response the advantage of this service is that it allows you to download all your reporting as raw data, which is particularly useful when you're using separate marketing reporting tools to consolidate and report on all your campaigns across all media.

Comments are closed.